Experts meet in Kenya to promote research in nuclear technology

NAIROBI, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) — Nuclear experts on Monday kicked off an eight-day meeting in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, to discuss ways of promoting research in nuclear technology.

The nuclear research reactor forum brought together more than 100 nuclear regulators, research agencies and scholars from Africa to review ways of using nuclear science and technology to help tackle major challenges including climate change, energy security and health challenges.

In his opening remarks, Mikhail Chudakov, deputy director general and head of the nuclear energy department at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), said that there are more than 200 nuclear research reactors that are instrumental in material testing, production of radioisotopes for medicine and industry operating in 53 countries around the world.

“In Africa, several countries plan to implement national nuclear research reactors programs so as to improve their health care, industrial and agricultural productivity,” Chudakov said.

He observed that IAEA provides comprehensive support to member states in developing research reactors programs including assistance in establishing nuclear infrastructure, which is the most serious challenge faced by countries adopting nuclear technology for the first time.

Justus Wabuyabo, acting chief executive officer of Kenya’s Nuclear Power and Energy Agency, said that the country is implementing the nuclear research reactor project guided by the IAEA’s approach which represents a sequential three-phased development of 19 infrastructure issues.

Wabuyabo noted that nuclear research reactors have wide applications in education, training, health, industry and energy.

“The main utilizations envisaged for the nuclear research reactors include enhancing national research and development capabilities, improving and encouraging industrial competitiveness, enhancing material structure study for various applications,” he revealed.

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